Health and the Inner City

Author: Nicole Flores


S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School

Year: 2012

Seminar: Understanding Human Health and Disease

Grade Level: 5

Keywords: African-American community, diabetes, halth, risk

School Subject(s): Health, Science, Social Studies

It is a well-known fact that many in the African-American community suffer from many preventable health ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Recently, these ailments have trickled down to our youth. Risk factors occurring early in life are believed to play a major role in the eventual development of these conditions (Rolland-Cachera, Deheeger, Maillot, Bellisle, p. s11).

Prevention becomes more and more important in the fight against these diseases (Pietrobelli, Flodmark, Lissau, Moreno, Widhalm, p. s2). Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, reducing sweet drink intake, reducing portion sizes, and exercise have been found to be the best preventative factors (Pietrobelli, Flodmark, Lissau, Moreno, Widhalm, p. s1).

Students in this curriculum unit will explore health ailments such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease in two parts. Part one involves students surveying friends and family members to obtain information including age, type of illness, onset/death of illness and sex. In this way, students will become more aware of how close some of these diseases are. Students will use the ages of onset or death obtained to organize this data into tables, find statistical landmarks and graph the data. In part two, students will research a disease that they feel most impacts their community or family. They will find information regarding this disease including causes, prevalence, symptoms and prevention. This will culminate into a project each student will present to the class which will include the above information and their own personal plan for prevention.

This unit is intended for an audience of fifth grade students in a low to mid-income urban Philadelphia neighborhood.

The objectives for the unit will be as follows:

  • Students will gain knowledge of preventable diseases
  • Students will be provided experience with collecting and organizing (charting, graphing) data.
  • Students will create data landmarks for the information they gathered.
  • Students will use the data to make predictions based on intervention or continued scenarios

Download Unit: FloresUnit-12.02.03.pdf

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